Scotland

Half of Scots 'have run out of money before pay day'

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More than half of Scots have run out of money before pay day, according to a new report.

The Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) study found 15% of people said it happened "most of the time" or "always".

Nearly a quarter (23%) had gone without food at least once in the previous year.

CAS said its findings showed that debt was "just a fact of life" for most people.

Almost half (48%) of the 1,501 Scots who took part in the survey had been forced to borrow money or use credit to buy food.

A fifth needed help to pay their rent or mortgage - a figure which jumped to 29% when it came to utility bills.

The report also found that more than half (55%) of the people quizzed would be unable to pay a sudden bill of £100 without borrowing, using savings or cutting back on essentials.

Financial shocks

For a £250 bill, this rose to 69%, and for £1,000 it was 83%.

Nearly four in 10 (38%) felt they were "living comfortably" on their income.

CAS policy manager Keith Dryburgh said the study showed that debt was not just an issue for people on low incomes.

He said: "Many working Scots on reasonable salaries occasionally need to borrow money to get them from one pay day to the next.

"While many of these people would not regard this as a crisis situation, our research also finds that many people are vulnerable to financial shocks, like being unable to pay a sudden bill without getting into debt or using savings.

"More than half of Scots are not familiar with their rights as debt consumers.

"Given that debt is so pervasive in Scotland, we are keen to make sure that people know their rights in relation to debt and also know what options they have if they want to manage their finances better."

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